South Korea's overall industrial production continued its upward trend for the second consecutive month in March, thanks to increased production in the service sector.
According to Statistics Korea on Friday, the overall industrial output was up point-8 percent in March, compared to the previous month.
Industrial production declined by half-a-percent in January, then rebounded 2.1 percent in February, before increasing for the second time last month.
This was mainly due to strong production in the service sector, which also rose for a second month in a row.
It was up 1.2 percent on-month, marking the largest gain since June 2020.
"The sluggishness we've seen in the service industry has eased a lot, with relaxed social distancing and increased activity during the warmer weather. Production in the service industry increasing for two straight months contributed to growth in overall production."
Strong production in the service sector also offset dwindling production in both mining and manufacturing.
"Production in the mining sector declined on-month in March due to the base effect, as it was at its all-time high in February. Both the production of automobiles and machinery equipment were down. Auto production was lower due to supply problems, with some companies halting operations or going into partial operation."
Retail sales, a measure of consumption, also increased by the largest margin in 7 months, signaling a stronger recovery.
It was up 2.3 percent compared to the previous month, thanks to a rise in sales of clothing and cosmetics.
Indicators of current and future economic conditions both rose, by half-a-point and point-two points on-month, respectively.
Kim Jae-hee, Arirang News.